Wednesday, 15 March 2017
…since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; Colossians 1:4
It is claimed from this verse that Paul had not been to Colossae before writing this epistle because of the words, “…since we heard of your faith.” There is nothing to suggest that he had not been there, and such words are not intended to mean that. In fact, he uses the same term in writing to the Ephesians that he uses here. And there is no doubt that he was the founder of the church at Ephesus –
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints…” Ephesians 1:15
He is merely writing now about the faith that they held at the present time. They had faith in the past, and he is thanking God for the faith which still continues to the present. And this faith is “in Christ Jesus.” It is a saving faith, and an enduring faith. They not only heard the gospel and received it unto salvation, but they also continued in that faith, walking in it unto rewards.
And even more, he says that they (meaning he and Timothy of verse 1) were thankful for their “love for all the saints.” The joy of the saints is that their love extends beyond just faith in Christ Jesus, but it extends to all who are in Christ Jesus. It is the bond of unity which is hoped for in the Christian walk, but one which too often breaks down into division, as is seen in his other epistles. At this point, such divisions were not a part of their walk in Christ and in their fellowship with other believers.
In his words ahead, Paul will give sound advice in order to avoid such future divisions. He will warn against heresies, and he will exhort those in Colossae in how to properly conduct their walk. If his words are adhered to, many troubling pitfalls will be avoided, both for the Colossians and for those of us who are willing to receive them.
Life application: How willing are we to spend time in the word each day in order to be sound in our theology and faithful in our walk? Let us endeavor to read the word, and to study in order to show ourselves approved. Great rewards lie ahead for those who are willing to look to the eternal, and not just to the here and now.
Heavenly Father, the longer we live, the shorter we realize that our lives truly are. The brevity of our days is a sobering wake-up call to use our time now wisely, and to adhere to what You have instructed us in Your precious word. Help us to be wise and discerning about the few moments we have been granted in this earthly walk. Help us to be pleasing in Your sight through the study and application of Your superior word to our lives. Amen.